When you finally pick your freelance writing niche, it is love at first site. You love talking about your niche, writing about it, reading about it, and pinning glossy images on Pinterest of all things related to your niche.
And then, just like any relationship, the honeymoon phase starts to die down. You don’t look at your niche with the same puppy-dog eyes as you first started. Now all you can see are the flaws. The lack of income it is bringing you, the density of competition, etc. You feel like you are trapped in this prison, and you are wondering if you should break up with your niche once and for all. But you are already so invested.
The Niche Struggle Is Real
I’ve been there – often! When I first started writing about finances, I loved reading and writing everything about it. You want to talk about Dave Ramsey or life insurance options? Great, I’ll talk your ear off for the next hour.
When I first started writing about finances, I loved reading and writing everything about it. You want to talk about Dave Ramsey or life insurance options? Great, I’ll talk your ear off for the next hour.
Then I looked up and realized I had been talking about every aspect of money for years. Editors don’t assign you passionate money pieces like ones about couples overcoming financial hardships as often and start to give you the long form articles about all the tax codes homeowners should use. When you want to earn a decent income writing, you have to be willing to take on the drier jobs in your niche from time to time.
Since I’ve been in the field so long, there are days that seem like every story angle has been tried, every outlet has been pitched, and you are against so many people in the same field. There have been many times I have asked myself, do I even love talking about money anymore? Should I even bother switching when I have so many years invested in building up my portfolio?
Tired of Your Niche? Try These Tips
Do you feel the same way with your freelance writing niche?
Before you break up with your niche, I strongly suggest taking a few other actions first to fall back in love. Or at least to see if you still want to be attached to your niche.
This is a wise move if you have already built up a portfolio or are making money with your niche. You don’t want to have to start over again.
These tips will also work if you love your niche but aren’t seeing the dollar bills. That can be frustrating too because you can’t pay the bills on love alone.
The main message of entrepreneurship is that you should pursue something you are passionate about. That is 100% true, but that doesn’t mean you will be passionate about every aspect of your business or that every day will be one that leaves you feeling amazing. There are going to be many days of boring and mundane, and that is okay!
Don’t be afraid to take on the boring tasks because they can pay well and can lay a foundation for other passion projects to follow. I have worked with dream companies and on fun pieces because the client had found me through articles I was bored out of my mind writing.
In James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, Clear asks one of the best athletic coaches what makes a top athlete. Of course, genes and talent plays a part, but the coach also mentioned that the athletes that are successful are the ones that can accept boredom from doing the same workout or training over and over again. Boredom builds bridges.
This philosophy applies to every area of business and life. I am passionate about staying home with my kids, homeschooling them, and all the domesticated bliss that comes with it (and it is totally okay if you don’t feel the same way, just hang with me a minute). Even though I’m passionate about home keeping, there are so many days that the boring or repetitive can get overwhelming. I don’t love cooking meals three times a day, cleaning, dealing with poor attitudes or doing pretend play, but they are all the tasks I endure to create and sustain the bigger picture I am passionate about.
So when you are feeling like the mundane articles that pay well or are building your experience might not be worth it, take a huge step back. Are these moments of boring shaping the bigger picture that you always dreamed of? Some days, that hard job might not feel worth it to your freelancing career, but is it moving you towards financial freedom or allowing you to work from home?
In short, be okay with the occasional boring, it doesn’t mean you are on the wrong path. Also, never forget your bigger picture when the mundane seems too hard to overcome.
Give Your Niche a Facelift
Are you tired of writing about your niche because it is growing repetitive? Or are you having trouble earning money off of it? While both are different issues, giving your niche a fresh face can solve both problems.
What are some different ways you can look at your niche? If you are writing for the consumer of your niche, can you start writing for the B2B equivalent? For example, if you are tried of writing about mortgages for a home shopping audience, try writing about real estate practices and business tips for the agent or broker. Change the audience.
When you change the audience, you can open up the door to new opportunities and new topics to write about.
Some audiences are just more fun to write for. Writing money and business tips for kids or young entrepreneurs is more exciting than trying to write money advice for baby boomers who have heard it all before.
Add a Middle Man
Sometimes a relationship needs a little outside help. Your niche might be the same way. Try pairing your niche with another topic to open up different outlets and story ideas. For example, if you are growing tired about writing about pets for animal health sites, try matching your pet writing experience with a seemingly unconnected niche, like travel.
Now instead of pitching pet sites and medical sites, you can pitch travel or popular consumer outlets. You can stop talking about flea medication and start writing fun pieces about TK Must-See Pet Motels Around the World or Millennial Pet Owner Vacays 101.
Give Yourself Space
If none of these tips help spark your love for your niche again, try taking a break from the topic for a short period. Maybe you need to add more you time between you and your niche – such as reading books for fun rather than research or just hustling less.
You might not be tired of your niche. You might just be plain tired, so don’t neglect rest and self-care, especially if you are juggling freelance work on top of other work and taking care of kids.